ACFN sup­port­ing fed­eral govern­ment in car­bon pric­ing law­suit

Fort McMurray Today - - LOCAL NEWS -

An Al­berta First Na­tion is ask­ing to join the le­gal fight over car­bon pric­ing.

The Athabasca Chipewyan First Na­tion is hop­ing to in­ter­vene in the Saskatchewan govern­ment’s con­sti­tu­tional chal­lenge of the fed­eral govern­ment’s plan for a na­tional price on car­bon.

Chief Al­lan Adam says Canada will never be able to ad­dress cli­mate change if the Saskatchewan Court of Ap­peal rules that Ot­tawa’s car­bon­price plan vi­o­lates the char­ter of rights.

He’s call­ing the province’s own pro­posed cli­mate change mea­sures deeply cyn­i­cal.

Adam says not a sin­gle First Na­tion was con­sulted in its devel­op­ment.

He says fail­ing to fight cli­mate change dam­ages treaty rights.

“If we can­not hunt, trap, fish, and gather in our re­gion, can­not travel along the Athabasca River, and can­not use the win­ter road, we will be­come more iso­lated in a land that no longer sus­tains us,” he said in a re­lease Fri­day.

“Fu­ture gen­er­a­tions will view (Pre­mier Scott) Moe’s ac­tions as a catas­tro­phe.”

Ot­tawa has asked all prov­inces to put a min­i­mum price on emis­sions of $20 per tonne by Jan. 1, with a fed­eral car­bon tax im­posed on prov­inces that don’t fol­low suit. The rev­enue gen­er­ated by the tax in those prov­inces would be re­bated to res­i­dents.

Saskatchewan’s plan to re­duce in­dus­trial green­house gas emis­sions in­cludes a re­quire­ment for large emit­ters to reg­is­ter with the province. They could re­ceive cred­its for reach­ing tar­gets.

Adam’s com­mu­nity is the lat­est group hop­ing to ap­pear be­fore the Saskatchewan Ap­peal Court.

Two en­vi­ron­men­tal groups have ap­plied to speak in sup­port of Ot­tawa, as has the govern­ment of Bri­tish Columbia.

The gov­ern­ments of New Brunswick and On­tario have asked to in­ter­vene on Saskatchewan’s side.

More groups are ex­pected to ap­ply be­fore an in­ter­vener hear­ing is held in about a week.

New Brunswick will also ap­ply to make ar­gu­ments in a law­suit be­ing brought by the On­tario govern­ment.


Chief Al­lan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Na­tion, based in Fort Chipewyan, Alta., speaks at Keyano Col­lege in Fort Mc­mur­ray, Alta. on Tues­day, Oc­to­ber 30, 2018.

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